NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has yanked the proposed West Side Stadium from this week’s agenda of the Public Control Board, and requested that the vote on the mega-project be shelved until June 2.
The move pushes the decision on the $300 million in state funding for the project back to just over one month before the international Olympic officials are expected to choose a host for the 2012 Summer Games. It will also come just four days before the self-imposed June 6 deadline Mayor Michael Bloomberg set for the decision yesterday. That’s the date Olympic officials will release a preliminary report on the host cities.
A spokesman for Silver told Newsday that the speaker wanted to delay the vote pending the outcome of a June 2 court hearing on a lawsuit filed by stadium opponents.
“When did New York walk away from taking shots and trying to get things?” Bloomberg asked reporters during a Bronx news conference. “Think about what kind of society we’re changing into here. We’re giving up before we even start? I don’t think so.”
The news came out just after a new report was released, doubting the administration’s estimates of public-sector costs for the project.
An open letter against the proposed $2.2-billion stadium was signed by 106 economists, and circulated by the National Taxpayers Union.
“Sports stadiums do not increase overall entertainment spending but merely shift it from other entertainment venues,” Newsday quoted the letter as saying. The group noted that the public subsidies are “unnecessary” for the projet, which would occupy “prime waterfront land.”
Silver noted last week that more than $1 billion in subsidies will be provided, and the city and state governments have proposed a $600 million contribution to the New York Jets to help pay for the stadium.
In addition, $450 million in property-tax payments would go toward paying down the bond debt rather than city services. The group noted that the city and state will have to pay for improvements in the area.
Bloomberg told the press this week that the stadium will give the city additional benefits, such as expanded convention center space and construction jobs, as well as help to secure the 2012 Olympic bid.
“It’s jobs; without it, the whole West Side is not going to be developed for a very long time, and no responsible city planner would tell you the contrary,” Bloomberg said in comments to the media. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers